Researching the history of your property can be an extremely rewarding experience. So many people have no idea of the rich history that may be associated with their properties. Every historic resource is part of its community’s physical and historic context. Historic research, even on a very basic level, can often provide very interesting information about a property. When and by whom it was built; what was its original configuration; and how did the property evolve over time in response to changing programmatic needs. Historic research should also be the first step when undertaking renovations or additions to your historic property. The information gained should help guide the decisions of the owner, design team, and contractor.

Historic research can be done by professionals or the property owner themselves. The internet has provided access to amazing amounts of information. In Chester County we are lucky because those who came before us were quite diligent in documenting the events and physical history of their communities. Local, regional, and state archives can be very helpful sources of information.

We provide the following information to help the property owner get started.

 

How To Research Your Property

Inventories of Historic Properties

Township, Borough or City Inventory
Contact your local township, borough or city manager to see if your building is currently listed in the local inventory. If it is not, but you feel it should be, request information from the manager on who can help you add your resource to the local inventory.

Chester County Historic Resources Atlas
The effort to update the Chester County Historic Resources Atlas is currently underway and will be a multi-year effort. If you would like to participate or ensure that your property is included, if it is not already listed by your township or borough, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., the Chester County Historic Preservation Officer.

Pennsylvania Survey Form
The state historic preservation office is the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) and its Bureau of Historic Preservation maintains the state inventory of historic resources. To list your property in the state inventory, you must prepare or hire a consultant to prepare a PHMC Survey Form.

National Register of Historic Places
Listing a property on the National Register of Historic Places is a multi-step process. Check out their webpage for information on the process and the forms.

Because of the great number of resources that may be eligible for listing in the National Register, the historical significance of the property must be thoroughly researched, and the form must be very well prepared. Today, this often means hiring a consultant to undertake the work.

cchpn logo text black

The Chester County Historic
Preservation Network
a 501(c)3 Organization

P.O. Box 174
West Chester, PA 19381

info@cchpn.org

610-344-6285
Karen Marshall
Heritage Preservation Coordinator
Chester County Planning Commission


The mission of CCHPN is to connect local governments, organizations, and individuals in their efforts to protect, preserve, and promote the historic resources and cultural landscapes of Chester County through communication and education.

The CCHPN works to bring people together and give them the information they need to preserve their neighborhoods and communities throughout Chester County. Please consider joining the effort.